Animal Innovation

Paperback | October 14, 2003

EditorSimon M. Reader, Kevin N. Laland

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In 1953 a young female Japanese macaque called Imo began washing sweet potatoes before eating them, presumably to remove dirt and sand grains. Soon other monkeys had adopted this behaviour, and potato washing gradually spread throughout the troop. When, three years after her first invention,Imo devised a second novel foraging behaviour, that of separating wheat from sand by throwing mixed handfuls into water and scooping out the floating grains, she was almost instantly heralded around the world as a 'monkey genius'. Imo is probably the most celebrated of animal innovators. In fact,many animals will invent new behaviour patterns, adjust established behaviours to a novel context, or respond to stresses in an appropriate and novel manner. Innovation is an important component of behavioural flexibility, vital to the survival of individuals in species with generalist or opportunistic lifestyles, and potentially of critical importance to those endangered or threatened species forced to adjust to changed or impoverished environments.Innovation may also have played a central role in avian and primate brain evolution. Yet until recently animal innovation has been subject to almost complete neglect by behavioural biologists, psychologists, social learning researchers, and conservation-minded biologists. This collection of stimulating and readable articles by leading scientific authorities is the first ever book on 'animal innovation', designed to put the topic of animal innovation on the map and heighten awareness of this developing field.

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In 1953 a young female Japanese macaque called Imo began washing sweet potatoes before eating them, presumably to remove dirt and sand grains. Soon other monkeys had adopted this behaviour, and potato washing gradually spread throughout the troop. When, three years after her first invention,Imo devised a second novel foraging behavio...

Simon Reader is i the Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Kevin Laland is at the Centre for Social Learning and Cognitive Evolution, School of Biology, University of St Andrews.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:354 pages, 9.45 × 6.61 × 0.75 inPublished:October 14, 2003Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198526229

ISBN - 13:9780198526223

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Table of Contents

Part I - Definitions and Key Questions1. Kevin N. Laland and Simon M. Reader: Animal innovation: an introductionPart II - Comparative and Evolutionary Analyses of Innovation2. Louis Lefebvre and Johan J. Bolhuis: Positive and negative correlates of feeding innovations in birds: evidence for limited modularity3. Daniel Sol: Behavioural innovation: a neglected issue in the ecological and evolutionary literature?4. Simon M. Reader and Katharine MacDonald: Environmental variability and primate behavioural flexibility5. Peter J.B. Slater and Robert F. Lachlan: Is innovation in bird song adaptive?6. Bennett G. Galef Jr: Social Learning: promoter or inhibitor of innovation?Part III - Patterns and Causes of Animal Innovation7. Kevin N. Laland and Yfke Van Bergen: Experimental studies of innovation in the guppy8. Russell Greenberg: The role of neophobia and neophilia in the development of innovative behaviour of birds9. Hilary O. Box: Characteristics and propensities of marmosets and tamarins: Implications for studies of innovationPart IV - Innovation, Intelligence, and Cognition10. Hans Kummer and Jane Goodall: Conditions of innovative behaviour in primates11. Richard W. Byrne: Novelty in deceit12. Phyllis C. Lee: Innovation as a behavioural response to environmental challenges: a cost and benefit approach13. Anne E. Russon: Innovation and creativity in forest-living rehabilitant orangutansPart V - Human Innovation14. Dean Keith Simonton: Human innovation: two Darwinian analysesPart VI - Discussion16. Marc D. Hauser: To innovate or not to innovate? That is the question

Editorial Reviews

`When groundbreaking research and beguiling pseudoscience are presented at the same time in more or less the same form, how on earth do we tell the difference? In this timely, indeed desperately needed, "guide to the perplexed", Laland and Brown provide brief histories and critical overviewsof the main evolutionary approaches currently being used to explain human behaviour, including human sociobiology, evolutionary psychology, behavioural ecology, meme studies, and gene-culture coevolution. Lucid and balanced, Sense and Nonsense will hopefully reach a broad audience. May it becomeassigned reading for journalists reporting on this area.'Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, author of Mother Nature: A history of mothers infants and natural selection and The Woman that Never Evolved